Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News



SNP Councillor for Buckie, Cllr Sonya Warren, has raised concerns at Moray Council’s Economic Development and Infrastructure Services Committee over changes to insurance requirements for boat owners.

The Councillor, whose ward includes the busy harbours of Buckie and Findochty, had originally proposed an Emergency Notice of Motion to put in place a transition period for the new requirement for boat owners to increase their third-party liability insurance cover from three million pounds to five million pounds. The Chair of the Committee, however, refused the motion leaving the only option of a question in the committee.

Speaking after the Committee Cllr Warren said:

“In a previous meeting all councillors had agreed a new berthing policy, which included the increased insurance cover requirement. At that time, however, it was not apparent that there could be issues for some boat owners in changing their policies to meet the new level if insurance being asked for.

“In light of concerns that have subsequently been raised by a number of boat owners with me I felt that the pragmatic thing for the Council to do would be to have a transition period to allow boat owners to up their cover at the time of their insurance renewal.

“I am very disappointed that the Chair refused this pragmatic approach and I think the Council’s position is unreasonable and inflexible. It is not that the change in itself isn’t right but that unforeseen issues have become apparent and the Council should be more supportive of boat owners in these circumstances.

“We are talking here about owners of small boats, for whom the insurance change can have a reasonably significant cost implication if they are to change their policy halfway through. All that was asked for was a transition period for boat owners to adjust to the change and the Chair has been intransigent on that.”